The Australian High Commissioner, John Feakes says his government is not dumping the AstraZeneca vaccine in Fiji.
Feakes commented after changes were made in Australia on the age of people receiving AstraZeneca.
The High Commissioner says Australia is meeting the requirement based on Fiji’s request as he also says changes in Australia are specific for Australia where there is no outbreak, unlike Fiji.
“We are certainly not dumping the vaccine on Fiji, this is the vaccine that Fiji has requested, partly because it’s a tenth of the price of other vaccines and the cold storage requirement are much easier than alternative vaccines.”
Feakes says AstraZeneca has been proven effective and changes made in Australia are not permanent.
“In Fiji, there is an active outbreak and the advice is very clear that the risk of a blood clot from COVID-19 is higher than the risk of a blood clot from these vaccines.”
Feakes says all the members of his team have received AstraZeneca.
Minister for Health Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete says AstraZeneca reduces serious illness, hospitalization, and death and there has been no proof to say it is not working here.
Waqainabete also says there are protocols in place to monitor people who have received their dose of the vaccine and to date, they have not registered any severe side effects.